Sri Lankan and Indian External Affairs Ministers Prof. G.L. Peiris and Salman Kurshid are to meet later this month to discuss ‘all aspects of the bilateral relationship,’ including the fishermen issues, the government said today.
Issuing a statement on the talks between the Indian and the Sri Lankan fishermen, the Sri Lanka External Affairs ministry said, “the release of fishermen on a reciprocal basis by the government of Sri Lanka and India, which began after the telephone conversation last week between External Affairs Ministers Prof. G.L. Peiris of Sri Lanka and Salman Kurshid of India, is proceeding as a continuing initiative.”
It said that an initial batch of 20 fishermen were released from Mallakam and Tamil Nadu, and this was followed a few hours later by the release of 32 fishermen from Pondichery, held in Sri Lanka and an equal number of fishermen from Sri Lanka, held in Tamil Nadu, India.
Dr. Rajitha Senarathna, Minister of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development of Sri Lanka, will have talks in New Delhi on Wednesday with Mr. Sherard Pawar, Minister of Agriculture and Food Processing Industries of India, on the main elements of a durable solution to the problem of illicit fishing and the use of prohibited methods, which have given rise to vexed problems over a sustained period, it added.